DARPA wants real-life Avatars for soldiers

DARPA has funds set aside in its budget for 2012 that will pour $7 million into a plan that sounds so much like the James Cameron flick Avatar or that Bruce Willis movie Surrogates, that it's hard to believe DARPA is actually spending money on the project. DARPA says the goal of the plan is to "develop interfaces and algorithms to enable a soldier to effectively partner with a semi-autonomous bi-pedal machine and allow it to act as the soldier's surrogate." This Sounds like brain controlled robots to me.

DARPA isn't looking for giant Kevlar skinned blue aliens, but rather robots it seems. DARPA wants those that participate in the program to make "key advancements in telepresence in remote operation of the ground system" but those key advancements aren't specified. DARPA is specifically looking for "semi-autonomous bi-pedal machines" so it doesn't seem any of the tracked or wheeled variety of robots the military has today will do the trick.

It sounds more than a little like DARPA wants human controlled Terminator robots. That would make sense, that way we can keep Skynet from taking over. How awesome is this project? I love that DARPA can get funding and put out descriptions of projects that sound like pure science fiction with a straight face and many times actually pull the projects off.

[via Spectrum]